June 28, 2014 by Bernadette ~ The Bumbling Bookworm
Don’t You Know Who I Used To Be by Julia Morris
Publisher/Year: Hachette Australia, 1 April 2009
Genre: Non-Fiction, Autobiography
Source: I bought it!
Rating: 4 stars
Other books from author: Dear Mum
Anyone watching the seventeen-year-old Julia Morris singing Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Holding Out For A Hero’ on NEW FACES could tell two things … she had guts and she had talent. Not too many years later Julia got her big break (alongside Eric Bana) on the Logie award-winning comedy sketch show FULL FRONTAL. From that platform she went on to other television and radio and she soon became one of Australia’s most loved female comedians with roles on IN MELBOURNE TONIGHT, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, GREAT AUSSIE BLOOPERS, GLADIATORS, THE MIDDAY SHOW, WHO DARES WINS and GOOD MORNING AUSTRALIA.
She was young, successful … and single, so in 2000, like so many Aussies before her, Julia decided to try her luck overseas and jetted off to the UK. There was no instant success. She had to work hard to find her way in the much larger pond. Julia spent eight years in the UK and ended up claiming both commercial and critical success on stage, radio and television. Her refreshing honesty captured the imagination of British comedy’s elite and she worked with the likes of Paul Whitehouse, Stephen Fry, Catherine Tate, Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer, Graham Norton and her own personal Dalai Llama – the great Dame Edna.
But there comes a time when an Aussie girl needs to come home. And what was left? Maybe it was time to bag herself a husband, the title of ‘Lady’ (bought on the internet by the bagged husband Dan), a baby daughter, and bring her new family back to settle in her beloved homeland.
What I Thought…
I bought this book a while ago, around the time it was released I’d say, and I just knew it would be an entertaining read. For those of you who may not know of Julia Morris, or J-Mo, she’s an Aussie comedian, radio and TV personality, and actor. And she’s HILARIOUS. Seriously, I’ve seen her live and she does not disappoint!
Reading J-Mo’ tales of trying to make it big in the UK was eye-opening; just because you’re a big deal in your home country doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have immediate success wherever you go. And that’s what I love about autobiographies, or at least well written ones – because I’ve always known J-Mo to be a success, it was somewhat inspiring to know that what you see/think isn’t always what’s actually happening. But there’s something to be said for hard work and perseverance, and J-Mo got there eventually, conquering the UK like she did Australia years before.
Much like J-Mo herself, this book is charming, genuine and self-deprecating. J-Mo is certainly not scared to tell stories from her personal life and her work life, the positive stories and those that often don’t end well for her or don’t paint her in the best light. In doing so, she does it with such grace and humour that you can’t help but laugh along with her as you’re reading. And laugh aloud I did, which is a rarity for me. Don’t get me wrong, there were also some sad parts in this book, but the storytelling had me crying tears of laughter at times because I was laughing so much. I think it was because I could hear J-Mo’s distinctive voice while reading, I know others have said this and I totally agree. It was written the way J-Mo speaks, which definitely brought more humour to the tale.
This was a quick read and flowed very well, and it felt to me like the first in a series of books by J-Mo about her life. At least I hope it will be. What can I say, it’s a great book and you should definitely read it! J-Mo is very good at whatever she sets her mind to and House Husbands is another must 🙂 Also, if you ever have the opportunity to see J-Mo live, jump on it – she’s SO entertaining. My mum and I went and saw her No Judgment show at the Athenaeum Theatre in 2012 and she had us in stitches the whole way though. I’ll leave you with some clips of J-Mo that I absolutely adore, enjoy!
Have you read this book? What did you think, did you enjoy it?